Ladakh, the Land of High Passes, is a favorite tourist place for adventure seekers, culture enthusiasts, and nature lovers alike. The lately made Union Territory in India (earlier a part of Jammu & Kashmir) hosts the world’s top trekking locations, various lakes, alpine meadows, a cold desert, and so much more.
We advise you to visit this place once in your lifetime, but not without the proper planning. Here’s our short guide to visiting this land of barren mountains and ancient Buddhist monasteries.
Ladakh Summer Trip Guide
Planning & Budget
It is wise to create your Ladakh tour itinerary beforehand for a hassle-free trip. A few things to decide on include the total number of days you want to spend, places to stay, travel means, foods to consume, things to do, and places to visit. If you have been to this region before, you might be able to plan these things on your own. However, we suggest consulting with a tour operator who deals in Kashmir tours and Leh Ladakh travel packages for most travelers.
Get a quote for different tour packages from various trip planners in India to pick the plan that suits you according to your budget. You can easily blow your budget with a DIY plan to Ladakh because you have to take care of many things. For instance, you may only get an expensive hotel and transport when you arrive at this highly sought-after place in summer.
Things to Pack
May to July is an ideal period to travel to this enchanting place when the weather is mildly warm in the day and cold at night. Depending on your destination in Ladakh (such as high-altitude passes), the temperature can be freezing even in summer. So, it is wise to pack windcheaters and woolen clothes, including scarves, sweaters, and caps. To avoid sunburns, your travel kit must also encompass sunscreen, lip balm, and goggles.
Places to Stay
Since Ladakh is divided into three main regions – Leh, Zanskar, and Nubra Valley – you definitely would want to find a place in any of these places. The good news is you will find plenty of options at all these places, including hotels, inns, homestays, lodges, and tents.
Leh, the capital of Ladakh, offers classic and traditional budget hotels, boutique resorts, and camps. Zanskar has restricted accommodation choices because not many tourists stay here. However, you can still find administrative bungalows or small guest houses, as well as a 3-star hotel in Padum town. Nubra Valley will serve you with its 3-star hotels, tents, guest houses, resorts, cottages, and home stays. Hotels here vary from budget to luxury, offering all necessary tourist services. Besides, there are various staying options in Kargil town, the second biggest in Ladakh.
Places to Visit in Ladakh in Summer
There are so many places and things to do in Ladakh that you would be spoiled for choices.
The top places to visit include:
- Villages like Phayang, Spituk, Alchi, Dah Hanu and Hemis
- Lakes such as Tso Kar, Tso Moriri, Pangong, and Tso.
- Famous Monasteries include Hemis Monastery, Alchi Monastery, Spituk Monastery, Thiksey Monastery, Lamayuru Monastery, Diskit Monastery, Phugtal Monastery, Shey Monastery, etc.
- Mountain Passes comprise Khardung La Pass, Chang La Pass, Baralacha La, Taglang La Pass, Zojila Pass, and Lachung La Pass.
Things to do in Ladakh in Summer
Depending on your selection, you can go for river rafting, trekking, camel safari, jeep safari, mountain biking, motorbiking, peak climbing, and more.
While Ladakh has something for every visitor, it is primarily a treat for adventure enthusiasts. Rivers and mountain peaks give you a chance to indulge in various activities such as:
- If you are a mountaineer, experience the climb of your lifetime by scaling Stok Kangri, Nun Kun Massif, Gulap Kangri, and Saser-I, II & III. It is an activity only experienced mountaineers should participate in because these mountains range between 5,000 and 7,000 meters high above sea level.
- Another excellent adventure you could embark on this summer is trekking the Stok Kangri Trek, Lamayuru to Darcha Trek, and Nubra Valley Trek.
- If you are into mountain biking, we highly recommend locations like Pangong Tso, Leh to Zingchen, Skiu to Chilling, and Leh to Sankar Gompa.
- While you are busy trekking or any other adventure activity, you would take pride in camping at Thiksey, Hunder Village, Tso Moriri, and Zanskar Valley.
- River rafting fans would love to raft on the Indus and Zanskar rivers, taking any of the two highly popular sections – Phey to Saspol and Phey to Nimo.
- Not everyone is an adventure junky, so if you are a couple here to spend quality and romantic time alone, Ladakh offers plenty of attractions. Camp at the calm Pangong Lake under the star-lit sky, or enjoy the splendor of the cold desert of Hunder as you sleep out at isolated Hunder Village.
- Honeymooners can also go for a camel safari in Hunder and Diskit villages and locations around Tiggur, Pinchimik & Yulkam. Furthermore, they would love to visit high mountain passes such as Khardung La and alpine lakes like Tso Moriri, along with taking a Jeep Safari tour and visiting Hemis National Park.
Famous Festivals & Shopping in Ladakh in Summer
Once here, we highly suggest you get an insight into Ladakh’s culture by attending its most popular festivals like Hemis Tsechu, Losar, Saka Dawa, and Yuru Kabgyat. Apart from attending the festivals, you should also visit the monasteries we mentioned above to know their habitats & spiritual and religious life.
Visiting Ladakh and returning home empty-handed will curse you for the rest of your life. From everyday items to souvenirs and handicrafts, there are plenty of things you can buy here.
Some of the items you can purchase include Pashmina wool products, prayer wheels, carpets & rugs, jewelry, baskets & bamboo baby cradles, beads, etc.
*This article has been contributed to Owl Over The World by an external writer.